3) The FAA requires that modeling events taking place during full-scale air shows
be sanctioned by the AMA. Although the Dawn Patrol Rendezvous was sanctioned,
it’s always good to keep extra copies of the sanction on hand before and during the
event. Be sure that all of the staff, including the full-scale air boss and promoter, have
copies in case the FAA needs to verify AMA’s sanctioning during the air show.
4) Event insurance is not required, but is a good idea. The FAA official asked Doug
for proof of insurance. Although Doug could clarify that event or site insurance is
not required because every AMA member is already covered, it’s far easier to simply
offer proof of insurance. The $25 investment is not only good for the property
owner, but it might save you some headaches.
5) If you have any questions, contact AMA Headquarters at (765) 287-1256,
extensions 230 or 227.
Fortunately, it rained during the eight hours that the modelers were grounded. Just
as Doug was given the green light to resume flying, Mother Nature cooperated and
stopped the rain for the rest of the weekend. The remainder of the event was great.
We’re looking forward to the WW I Dawn Patrol Rendezvous in 2018.
State and Local Advocacy
Members often think of government relations as efforts put forth in Washington,
D.C. Although 2016 has been and 2017 will be important for our hobby on the
federal level, we shouldn’t underestimate the importance of advocacy on the local
and state levels.
For perspective, the 113th Congress passed 352 bills, while states passed more
than 45,000 bills in the same period, January 3, 2013, through January 3, 2015.
Considering that there are more than 89,000 local governments in the US according
to the 2012 Census Bureau Report, you can easily tack on roughly 200,000 local
ordinances to this list. These numbers do not take into account all of the bills that
were drafted and considered, but not passed.
Of course, not every bill being considered is related to UAS, but a growing number
is. Ideas that start in cities and states often spread to neighboring local governments.
It is not uncommon for the federal laws to have roots in state or local laws. Although
it is important to monitor federal issues, we also need to monitor and engage in state
and local issues.
We expect local legislation to increase in 2017 and need your help. A small
community can propose, draft, and pass an ordinance in one or two evenings. If you
hear of a bill related to our hobby, do not hesitate to contact us at (765) 287-1256,
extensions 227 or 235, so we can educate and engage.
We are continuing to experience many legislative victories. California Gov. Jerry
Brown recently vetoed a number of bills targeting the model aircraft community.
This included legislation that would require geofencing and drone identification, and
prohibit the operation of UAS over state-managed land and water. The specific bills
vetoed by the governor were AB 2148, AB 2724, AB 2320, and AB 1662.
Working alongside our members and allies, we were able to stop legislation
that would have negatively impacted our longstanding hobby. Technology, such as
geofencing, is a helpful tool, but it is not a substitute for educating operators on how
and where they should or shouldn’t fly their drones or model aircraft.
Gov. Brown said that the bill mandating geofencing would create “significant
regulatory confusion by creating a patchwork of federal, state, and local restrictions
on airspace,” and we couldn’t agree more.
This victory does not mean that our advocacy efforts at the local level are over.
Other states and municipalities are considering legislation similar to the bills vetoed
by Gov. Brown. We will continue to work with and educate state and local legislators
to ensure the protection of our longstanding hobby.
Public Relations & Government Affairs Director
11 Model Aviation DECEMBER 2016 www.ModelAviation.com